- Created on 20 July 2009
Having experienced many of the ‘photo-editing' packages available today, we did not have too great expectations for ‘FaceFilter Studio 2'. The reason? Well, many of the simpler editing programs come in at over the £50 to £80 mark, are complicated to use and can be difficult to link with other programs. So, when we came across this program released by `Reallusion', retailing at around £30.00, we weren't expecting too much.
Firstly, you have to bear in mind that whilst most other programs allow you to work on improving the whole photograph, FaceFilter concentrates on the facial features alone. That said, the publishers claim that the program is a ‘simple, quick and easy photo editor that enable you to fine-tune your photos.' Ideal software for first time novices or professionals needing to edit studio portraits.
As is suggested, the program is reasonably simple and straightforward to learn and use, even for the novice. If you want a quick fix involving a comparatively few number of ‘clicks', giving a result that is near enough what you are looking for, then use the automatic options and you should see an improvement. However, there are a number of problems with this. For instance, if you don't get the facial mask exactly in the right place, or the subject is not fully facing the lens when you take the photo, you'll have quite a bit of trouble!
You have an alternative, the Manual option. The novice, and those not used to tinkering around to find out how to do something that is not well-linked on a program, will find this more difficult to use. You'll generally be able to improve on the finish of the automatic option if you edit manually. This might take a little time to learn for some but it is worth it. We found several small irritations that the more experienced user could deal with, but might make the novice give up in frustration. The most major of these is the fact that you can't ‘zoom in' at various points in the program when you need to work on the editing. Another is the preview window, which seems to have a life of its own; it doesn't seem to represent what the final photo is going to look like in any way! Our advice to the novice is ‘keep fiddling about' and all will become clear in the end! Generally the options and results are good.
On to the fun side! Alongside the editing functions comes the ‘Facial Morphing Technology'! The program has a choice of up to 51 facial templates that your subject's facial expression can be morphed by. So, if you come back with your holiday snaps, and you are scowling, sunburnt and with a large spot on your nose, and maybe a little ‘redeye', this program can fix the facial blemishes AND make you look happy, leaner and probably browner! It can't do anything for your physique though!
The facial expression part of the programme fits template to your subject's face. These can be the usual human expressions, happy, sad etc. These can be manually adjusted so that the expression is more or less intense. Also such things as the thinness of the face, the eyebrows, in fact all the features and their relative positions can be altered. The final offering is that there are a number of ‘fun' expressions. Sexy, angry etc. and faces can even be altered to resemble animals (bull, fox and even alien).
On the whole, although some of its tools need some finding and some don't seem to work with each other, this is a good, value-for money program. It's fun as well, and mainly does what it says on the box and does come with a pretty comprehensive manual, which certainly makes a good reference material for all of the features!
We had a good play and found that if you were careful to take the right type of shot, you can even morph photos of your dog as well!
Amazon: FaceFilter Studio 2 (PC)